There is no wonder why visitors to Hawaii always return home filled with wonder. Golfers have island a wide variety of golf courses on this island paradise. On each of the six major islands, set amidst beautiful scenery, with frequently perfect weather and on championship quality courses, Hawaii golf courses never fail to amaze and captivate the travelling golfer
Hawaii’s Big Island boasts the Kohala Coast and a trio of the best golf courses in Hawaii: Waikoloa, Mauna Lani and Mauna Kea. he sheer quality, enjoyment and beauty of courses such as these that have given Big Island the nickname of the “Golf Capital of Hawaii” and it is not difficult to see why. Big Island though boasts more than just this trio of outstanding courses for the golfer, sixteen courses available to the public sweep across the island and are set amidst verdant, volcanic soils and black rock, makes playing golf here a rare and enchanting experience.
Oahu is home to the PGA Tour’s Sony Open, held at the prestigious Waialae Country Club each January and which counts Ernie Els, Vijay Singh, K.J. Choi and Zach Johnson as previous winners. While only members and their guests can tread in the footsteps of these modern golfing greats, Oahu not only boasts the most public courses on any island in the chain, but also a variety of the best golf courses the State of Hawaii has to offer. All are suited to a range of abilities. The blustery Hawaii Kai Championship Course is a challenge for any golfer especially when the wind picks up, while the Arnold Palmer Course at Turtle Bay Resort, set amidst a 100-acre wildlife preserve is a stern test for even the lowest handicapper.
Each golf course in Hawaii has its own particular feel and play. Playing golf in Hawaii is not the same as playing in mainland America, Europe or elsewhere in the Pacific, Asia or Australia. The legendary Hawaiian climate and vistas mean that a golfer will experience a range of prevailing conditions the likes of which they will not have experienced before. Playing a comparatively straightforward par four in the morning can become a much greater challenge in the afternoon should the wind change direction or speed! The natural Bermuda grass also means many golfers will have to adjust their play on the fairway and particularly on the greens.
There is golf for all levels in Hawaii. Low handicappers can find courses to challenge them, while there are courses available that are designed to provide a gentler test for those at all levels, even beginners. Hawaii, in short, is six islands of golfing perfection, tucked away in a mid-Pacific paradise.
It is important to note that golf courses in Hawaii are managed differently; there are many clubs and resorts that are open to golfers for a walk-on green fee. Some private clubs, such as Waialae can only be played with a guest, but happily the islands have many publicly owned golf courses which offer great value golf, such as Kiahuna Golf Course in Poipu, Kauai. Then try the secluded nine-hole Ironwood Hills Golf Course on the island of Molokai.
So, which is the best course for the average golfer visiting the State of Hawaii? A difficult choice with so many outstanding golf courses available, but for sheer enjoyment and a touch of golf course design genius, then there is no better course than The Challenge at Manele, Lanai. Arguably one of Jack Nicklaus’ finest creations, set against the backdrop of the Pacific Ocean and sea cliffs, it is Hawaiian golf at its most spectacular.
In Hawaii, like everything else, the golf is sensational, well worth the experience and a golfing adventure you will always cherish.